The beginning of the calendar year is a great time to focus on your job prospects. Photo by Andrew Neal.
I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions. But for those who do, there is something of value. “This year is the year to get a new job!”
Frankly, many of us need to keep finding better jobs on our yearly to-do lists. That is, unless your position is perfect and ticks all the attribute boxes, i.e. solid company, supportive boss, high job satisfaction, opportunities to learn and grow, ability to make a difference, job stable, steadily increasing reasonable rewards, etc. Otherwise, it’s time to look for new opportunities.
Job seekers basically have three options: (1) switching to a new and better job at your current company or organization; (2) find a new job at another company or organization; or (3) start a new career in another field. (A fourth option is to hang around “shingles” and start your own consulting, which requires a completely different mindset and approach.) Which of these options you take depends on A lot depends on your short-term and long-term goals.
Read the overview below to visualize each approach so you can start the new year with a fresh outlook.
Switch to a better job at your current company or organization
Changing jobs does not necessarily mean changing employers. An executive from a nonprofit that I placed with another employer many years ago came to me for advice. She now has a great job at a well-known non-profit organization, and that job had many of the above attributes. Didn’t see the way, and having been in marketing and development, she could have transferred those skills to many other options outside the organization.
Meanwhile, the new CEO was creating a Chief Operating Officer (COO) post, and the executive was thinking of applying for the job. I first pointed out that the COO position requires strong financials and a lot of administrative work. She could potentially do all of that, but it wasn’t her forte. Second, her real strengths were more external, so instead of asking her to apply for her new job, I asked her what the organization needed and how she could contribute more to its success. I suggested that you consider
She said the education sector has been without a leader for a year and is interested in the international expansion taking place at the nonprofit. We discussed how she could pitch ideas to her CEO — not only would she continue her current responsibilities, but these would create new positions where she would take on two divisions. is to Briefly, she is currently the Senior Vice President of External and International Affairs, also responsible for education.
The point of this story is that your immediate manager (or CEO) doesn’t always know your abilities, your interests, or how you can better serve your organization. Additionally, it helps to know that the best employees do more than just do their jobs. They look for other things to do, move forward, and do it. you will go ahead!
Find a new job at another company or organization
What if there are no other opportunities in your current organization, or if the company’s culture and values don’t align with yours? I can no longer work for an ungrateful (or abusive) boss.
If any of these scenarios apply to you, make a commitment to yourself to seek change. Don’t quit or skip. As soon as you decide to change jobs, you feel better. A future post will give advice on how to find a job with another employer, but first, you should commit to making the change.
In the meantime, there are some considerations.
- Getting a new job is effectively a job in itself. Be prepared to work hard.
- Continue working in your current position as if you will never leave. Sometimes you have a project that takes a long time to complete and you are not there to complete it. The short answer is: Leaving your current position may take longer than expected (see below). WhenYou are paid to do your current job. Also, keep working as long as you can because you will need a positive evaluation.
- And since you’re getting paid, you shouldn’t be looking for a new job during company hours. It’s tempting, but you don’t want a potential employer calling you while you’re at work or leaving your job for an interview. This is admittedly difficult to pull off as a full-time employee, but you can/should take personal leave as needed to conduct your job search. I don’t blame you for having to schedule the interview around your work schedule.)
- Finding a new job takes time. Expect at least 3-4 months for middle management and longer for good senior management. Just stick with it and remember that in today’s market there are more job openings than job seekers.
start a new career in another field
For those of us who are late in the job, know that it’s never too late to embark on a new career. For everyone else, hey, you only live once.
As you think about your next move, keep these tips in mind:
- Do your homework: There are other careers you know and others you didn’t know existed. I remember her, one of my smartest college classmates, having a summer job as a coffee her taster before Starbucks came along, something unheard of in the previous era. Start with what you know, but explore other possibilities. talk to people from all walks of life, look for courses at universities and other educational institutions (not necessarily to take them, but to see what they have to offer), research online job sites, Volunteer at your favorite organization. I don’t know what will pique your interest.
- Narrow down your possibilities: If higher salaries are your priority, it’s a good idea to exclude certain occupations from the start. Embarking on a competitive career probably won’t give you great results, especially if you lack the necessary qualifications. Try – flexible hours, a lot of travel (or no travel), the ability to give back to society, whatever is important to you. You’ll want to focus on , but now’s the time to explore everything you can.
- Be patient: Stepping into a new career path can take months longer than a career change. Have a nice journey!
We hope you are feeling ready to take off in 2023. And if you’re not ready yet, read the following articles to leverage your expertise as an independent consultant.
Happy new year!